Erring on the Side of Caution with IBD
I learned at a very young age that I wasn’t invincible and I honestly wish I hadn’t figured that out so soon in my life. Being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 13 made me lose my innocence. It changed my childhood in such a negative way.
While other teenagers were able to be care-free and think the biggest problem they had to deal with was a pimple, I had to worry about things like picc lines, drains and my ostomy leaking. It wasn’t fair.
It also made me such a cautious person.
I was never a risk taker by nature but I feel like it has definitely pushed me even more in the direction of someone who airs on the side of caution.
For example, I was talking to my mom the other day about vacations and she brought up a cruise. I haven’t been on a vacation in 19 years (not exaggerating!) so talking about this was fun and exciting for me. I was very much in the “whatever works for everyone else” camp until she asked what I thought about a cruise.
In my mind, if there was no way for me to get adequate medical help, I couldn’t be okay with signing on for it. It scares me that I feel such a need to be in a close proximity to a hospital “just in case.” I would love more than anything to not have to think about these things. I would love more than anything to have a care-free attitude about most things.
I can’t even eat in front of most people because it puts me on edge. And going out to eat or eating in the company of close friends and/or family is a huge deal in most people’s lives. It is an enjoyable time, for most people. But for me and I know others reading this, it causes a lot of anxiety. Between embarrassing noises and the unpredictability of the bathroom situation, plus possibility of pain or an obstruction, it kind of takes the magic out of it.
I have been trying lately to change the way I have been eating.
I miss certain foods and wanted to give them a chance again. I learned rather quickly that whenever I change things up in the food department, my insides become a mess. Thus, my mind becomes a mess as well.
It is just difficult for people who have had to live with a chronic illness at such a young age. It can cause a lot of fear. It can also make us feel so much older than we are. There is so much to living with a disease like Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis and I wanted to share some of these thoughts in case anyone else may be feeling them too. Validation always helped me. :)
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